Ross Stewart's tussle, a strange decision and Sunderland's support for Ukraine: Moments you may have missed against Crewe

Just like against Fleetwood on Tuesday night, the mentality of Sunderland’s opponents quickly changed.

Sunday, 13th March 2022, 10:00 am

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After holding the Black Cats for 83 minutes, bottom of the table Crewe had been trying to run the clock down in the second half. Frustration inside the Stadium of Light grew.

A goalless draw would have seen Alex Neil’s side drop out of the League One play-off places, while teams around them still have games in hand. A point would have been welcomed by the visitors though.

Crewe goalkeeper Dave Richards had used his opportunities to try and retain the ball whenever he collected it or play was stopped

Ross Stewart and Crewe defender Connor O'Riordan.

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Yet when Dan Neil opened the scoring six minutes from time, Richards was rushing to try and retrieve the ball.

There were jeers from the home fans as the Crewe keeper frantically looked to restart the match and hoof his goal-kick upfield.

When Patick Roberts added a second goal prior to six minutes of stoppage-time, the nerves that had lingered on Wearside were released.

Here are some of the moments you may have missed:

A strange decision

While Richards was trying to waste time with the game still goalless, he was penalised by referee Neil Hair.

Yet rather than showing the goalkeeper a yellow card, the man in charge decided to give Sunderland an indirect free-kick inside the visitors’ box.

Richards wasn’t booked for his antics as Sunderland had a chance to register an effort at goal from close range.

Jack Clarke’s effort was deflected and looped into the arms of Richards, who must have thought his side could hang on with 12 minutes remaining.

Thankfully for Sunderland they still had time to settle the contest.

Ross Stewart’s tussle

It was a frustrating first half for the hosts as Crewe positioned men behind the ball and proved difficult to break down.

The visitors defended with a back five, while their centre-backs took a combative approach when the ball was played into Sunderland’s striker.

One battle which particularly caught the eye was that between Black Cats forward Ross Stewart and 6 ft 4 defender Connor O'Riordan.

O'Riordan, 18, stayed tight to Stewart at every opportunity and, while his tenacity helped keep Sunderland at bay, the teenager appeared fortunate not to concede a penalty when he swung an arm in front of the Scot from a corner.

Stewart went to ground and made his point to the referee, yet nothing was given.

Support for Ukraine

Despite playing at home, Sunderland were wearing their yellow and blue away kit to show solidarity with those impacted by events unfolding in Ukraine.

Throughout the game against Crewe there were messages encouraging fans to donate to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, which provides vital support to people affected by the crisis.

The match shirts will be signed by the Sunderland players and auctioned to raise funds for the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

Supporters can text EFL to 70141 to give £10 or visit redcross.org.uk/efl to find further information.

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